Analysis Of Theodicy: The Free Will Defense

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One of the most persistence questions we as thinking having often tends to challenge the existence of God. That question is, ‘if God is good and made us in His likeness, then why is there evil in the world?’ This question has plagued both theist and philosophers alike. I personally have encountered this very question in both Religious Quest, as well as Philosophy. While the latter concentrates on the logical problem of evil in order to argue that there can not be a perfect God who could then allow evil, the theist believes in an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God. I have to admit, I too have argued both sides of this spectrum. The one thing that both studies can and do agree on, is the acknowledgment that the world is full of evil. …show more content…
A theodicy being an attempt to show that the existence of evil doesn 't rule out the possibility of God 's existence. What I can do is examine some of the most popular theodicies and argue a point for their validity. The most popular theodicy is called The Free Will Defense. This argument holds that God maximized the goodness in the world by creating free beings. Being free means that we have the choice to do evil things, a choice which some of us choose to exercise. This theodicy gains so many followers because it states that God does not create evil, yet evil can not be avoided without depriving us of our fundamental freedom of will. Moreover, the world without freedom would be an overall worse place. Through an examination of this explanation, it seems to preserve God 's goodness, because he created the best possible world. It also preserves his omnipotence and omniscience, because although he does know about evil and could stop it, the reason he chooses not to interfere is to ensure our freedom. Through this justification, I can see why this argument has become the most widely accepted. It checks off all requirements to explain away evil while maintaining that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. However, the problem with the Free Will Defense is it only really addresses a certain kind of evil, known as …show more content…
Since natural evil, can be seen as the type of evil moral beings are not held responsible for, the Free Will Defense can not resolve it. This brings me to another popular theodicy, one that argues that good can not exist without its opposite. Meaning we can not fully understand the concept of pleasure without pain. Just as a person does not know what it would feel like to be warm if they have never been cold, or a person to feel full who has never been hungry. This theodicy is known as the Soul-Making theodicy and was presented by English philosopher of religion, John Hick. Unlike the Free Will theodicy, which argues that God created a perfect place, which we then ruined through our own poor choices, Hick argues that God deliberately created us "unfinished", and our lives on Earth are designed to toughen us up. Hick states, "The harshness of life gives us a robust texture and character that wouldn’t be possible without an imperfect world". Hick argues that God is trying to mold us into a particular type of being, and in order to do this we need an environment that is suited to the type of growth God wants, one that this "incomplete" world makes possible. How can a person know happiness if they have not felt

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